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Dairy vs Non-Dairy Yogurt: Why Both Are Good for Gut Health

Dairy vs Non-Dairy Yogurt: Why Both Are Good for Gut Health

A look into how dairy and non-dairy yogurt has benefits. Plus, a list of my top choices.

A whole food, plant-based diet has been gaining popularity in the last 5-10 years. It focuses on incorporating whole, plant foods into the diet, with a minimal or no amount of processed food. People usually avoid consuming animal products while following this lifestyle, however some food items, like yogurt made from cow’s milk, may be beneficial for some.

The importance of overall health is mainly linked to our gut and it is known that many diseases begin in the gut. In order to maintain our gut health, there are a variety of items that we can eat on a regular basis. The most important and underrated item on the list is dairy-based yogurt. The advantages and the nutritional profile of super simple food like dairy and non-dairy-based yogurt are all the more incredible because they can be used in multiple ways. So even if one is on a plant-based diet, they may still consider eating dairy-based yogurt because of the nutrition that it brings.

The difference between dairy and non-dairy yogurt

The main difference between dairy-based and non-dairy-based yogurt is that dairy-based yogurt is made from animal milk, whereas non-dairy-based yogurt is made from other sources which are coconut milk, oat milk, soy milk or nuts (cashew or almond). Listed below are a few differences which will surprise you:

Protein content

A significant difference between dairy-based and non-dairy-based yogurt is that the quantity of protein is much higher in the former as compared to the latter. Dairy-based yogurt has a sufficient amount of protein, coming in at 12 grams per cup!  Most non-dairy-based yogurt contains much less protein, with coconut milk-based yogurt having only 1 gram of protein per cup, making dairy-based yogurt far superior.

Sugar trouble

An alarming difference between dairy-based and non-dairy-based yogurt is the quantity of sugar present in the latter. While this does very greatly based on the brand, many non-dairy yogurts can have up to 8-13 grams of sugar per serving, compared to 0 or 1 gram in dairy yogurt. That’s equal to half a snickers bar! Sometimes, when a product lacks in protein quantity, they make up for it by adding sugar, so be mindful of this when choosing a yogurt. Remember, avoid pre-sweetened yogurt containers—instead add your own fruit.

Beneficial probiotics

The probiotic benefits that dairy-based yogurt provides is extremely important for the balance of our gut. Although this comes naturally in dairy-based yogurt, you can now find active live cultures added to non-dairy-based yogurts for gut health.

Digestive issues

If someone has acne, hormonal issues or most commonly digestive issues, lactose can be a concern. Lactose can be hard to digest for many, and it is naturally found in dairy-based yogurt, so if you notice these problems, try switching to non-dairy-based products.  

My top five dairy-based yogurt options which you can consider trying are:

1. Icelandic Provisions 1.5 % Milk Traditional Sky Yogurt

It has a whopping 15gm protein content and has a real vanilla flavor which makes it delicious.

2. Oui by Yoplait French Style Yogurt

It has a good amount of calcium and protein content.

3. Chobani Less Sugar Low Fat Greek Yogurt

It has 12g of protein content, 2% milkfat, and 9g of sugar which makes it an appropriate balance.

4. Dannon Plain Low-fat Milk Yogurt

It has a full-fat flavor with notes of sour cream.

5. 365 by Whole Foods Market, Plain Yogurt

It has vitamin D3 and contains a good amount of probiotics.

My top five non-dairy-based yogurt options which you can consider trying are:

1. So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt

It has unsweetened coconut milk with an overwhelming vanilla flavor.

2. Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk Yogurt

It has a mild oat and a vanilla flavor and is also slightly sweet in taste.

3. GoodPlants Almond Milk UnsweetenedProbiotic Yogurt

It has a nutty almond flavor with a tinge of vanilla and is slightly bitter in taste.

4. Kite Hill Almond Milk Sweet Yogurt

It is not sweet in taste but is a bit sour and has a thick texture.

5. Oui by Yoplait Coconut Dairy Alternative Vanilla Yogurt

It has a moderate amount of coconut and is on the sweeter side.